what you may have heard, yeast (or Candida, the most common is the
species Candida albicans), has a role in a normal functioning digestive
system. Yeast or Candida, is part of the body's internal flora, with a
preference to grow in warm, moist areas. However, a change in the
composition of the body's flora and fauna or a disruption to the immune
system can lead to superficial infections; most often occurring in the
mouth, vagina, nails and skin folds. The immune system and the fauna
(bacteria) work together to keep the internal flora (yeast) in check.
Compromise either and the yeast can grow. For example, antibiotics
which help destroy "bad" bacterial infections, also wipe out the good
bacteria (fauna). Antibiotics are not discriminating. They are also not
anti-fungal, which is what yeast is—a fungus. And that is how a baby
can get a diaper rash (yeast infection) after taking antibiotics for an
What about the immune system? It steps in
to help when it can — remember, if you are taking antibiotics to get
rid of a bacterial infection, your immune system is overburdened,
trying to get rid of the very same infection. The immune system will
work to get rid of the infection first, then work on getting rid of any
overabundance of yeast. Also, common cortical steroid therapies can
decrease the amount of white blood cells and may contribute to a yeast
infection (often called Candidaisis).
to grow in warm, moist areas. Look for redness, swelling of soft tissue
and a "yeasty" smell. There may also be heat and pain in the area. On
the skin surface, reddish patches may be ringed by white pustules that
leak a white secretion. Candidaisis can also be found in the ear and is
a common cause of infant diaper rash.
According toThe Yeast Connection
Handbook by Dr. William Crook, an overabundance of yeast
can cause systemic problems: headaches, fatigue, memory loss,
depression and more. He also goes on to claim that certain diseases
like lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and
Fibromyalgia may be yeast-related. On the other hand, Dr. Andrew Weil
in Natural Health,
Natural Medicine, does not believe that all yeast
infections become systemic and cause the diseases listed. But he did
add that testing for a systemic yeast infection is hard to do, since
yeast is such an integral part of the body's natural flora.
There is a hoard of information on getting rid of a yeast infection.
Whether you use nutrition, folk remedies, homeopathy, aromatherapy,
massage and/or bodywork, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, a visit to
your health care provider or a combination of these; don't fret — it is
possible to check that overabundance of yeast and bring your internal
flora and fauna back into balance.
The Yeast Connection Handbook
by Dr. William Crook.
Health, Natural Medicine by Dr. Andrew Weil.